Paul Ince Exclusive: Rangnick Must Change United's Mindset
Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince believes that Ralf Rangnick should already have one eye on his future consultancy role – despite being appointed interim manager until the end of the season. The German tactician, who took charge of his first game at Old Trafford on Sunday, will move upstairs when the 2021-22 campaign wraps up in May. The former Schalke boss held a Director of Football role for Red Bull’s two European teams, – Leipzig and Salzburg – from 2012 until 2020, before signing a three-year deal this summer to become manager of sports and development for Lokomotiv Moscow. That contract was ended prematurely, so that Rangnick could move to Manchester – and Ince believes he has plenty to be getting on with.
Structural Changes Needed
Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said: “He (Rangnick) has got to be looking more at the consultancy elements of his role; what he does after – look at the structure, look at the academy.
“We’ve not really had any kind of ‘wow’ player come through the academy since the Class of ‘92.
“(Scott) McTominay is a good player, but when you look at the likes of (Phil) Foden at Manchester City and (Trent) Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool, we’ve not had any of those.
“He’ll look at the structure, training, philosophy and will want every team in the club playing the same way, so when players graduate into the first team, they will know the system.
“The club has to allow him to have complete control to take this club where it needs to get to, none of this ‘play the Man United way’ that we hear all the time.
“The Man United way from the ‘90s was years back and we haven’t got the players to do that.”
Rangnick Could Appoint Successor
Rangnick may ultimately play the role of king-maker, as he could be the man to appoint his successor at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have won just three major honours since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, and former England international Ince feels the club’s board are to blame for the lack of trophies.
“It’s the greatest job in the world if you can get it right, but it can also be a poisoned chalice,” he explained.
“After Fergie, we’ve had four managers in eight years. Whatever manager they get in the future, Ralf has to lay the foundations, he has to make all the decisions.
“The Man United executive team don’t know anything about football, the Glazers bought the club just for profit, it had nothing to do with football.
“There isn’t a model at United, Ralf needs to create a model that’s going to make them successful.
“That’s a tough job in itself and it’s going to take a long time.”
And Ince – who netted 28 goals across his six-year spell with the club – has called for patience from the Red Devils’ supporters.
“We have to be patient,” he said.
“It’s hard to be patient when you’re a Man United fan because you expect to be competing all the time, even when you’re going through transitions, you still have to be winning trophies.
“You can’t afford to be eighth in the table when you’re Manchester United – they’ve not been built on that.”